Comcast is so keen on being involved with its subscribers’ connected homes it is offering free gateways. The Xfinity Wireless Gateway includes a wireless router to help power all the Wi-Fi-enabled devices within a home. The free gateway offering is timed with the holiday season in which many people buy new electronic devices.

Tony Werner, Comcast Executive Vice President and CTO, said in a recent interview that the MSO’s R&D group – Comcast Labs – is doing "a whole bunch of work on advanced wireless in the home." Werner said Comcast Labs has approximately 1,000 employees scattered among five locations: Philadelphia, Denver, Silicon Valley, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Comcast Labs looks for innovative new technologies, meets with start-up companies on a daily basis, and prototypes new technologies to see how they might fit with the company’s services.

Not only is Comcast Labs working on wireless in the home, but the topic was hot at last week’s Cable-Tec Expo, as well. (For more see Note To Cablecos: Own The Home Network). According to recent research by Forrester and Yankee Group, Comcast estimates that by 2015 its customers will own more than 234 million Internet connected devices, or up to six per household.

The Xfinity Wireless Gateway being offered by Comcast includes:

  • A wireless router (802.11 Wi-Fi-N) to create a fast home network and support dozens of connected devices,
  • A cable modem (DOCSIS 3.0) to enable access to Xfinity Internet service, and
  • A voice adapter (VoIP) for Xfinity Voice services.

The gateway, which is maintained by Comcast, frees customers from worrying about replacing or repairing their own routers or modems and eliminates a number of devices from cluttered desktop areas by combining what was formerly three different devices into one.

Offered to new Blast!, Extreme 50 and Extreme 105 Xfinity Internet customers, the Xfinity Wireless Gateway includes a wireless router at no additional charge beyond the standard equipment rental fee.

-Linda Hardesty

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Wireless veteran Stephen Stokols joined DISH as evp, Boost Mobile . Stokols, who most recently served as founder/CEO of wireless venture FreedomPop , will report to DISH group

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